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By Jake Howard

That whole adage about it’s not who wins or loses, but how you play the game—that totally applies to surf contests.

Last weekend, the Western Surfing Association’s event went down in some truly testy conditions in Oceanside. There were small waves, big waves, a nasty current, howling winds and water temps a notch or two below tropical.

Just surviving a heat deserved a victory celebration.

“If you were at WSA today competing, then you deserve a round of applause. Every weather known to man, plus huge pumping surf,” reported San Clemente grom Tanner Sandvig, who won his division while little sister Teagan finished third in her division.

A handful of groms show off their hardware following the WSA’s surf contest in Oceanside this past weekend. Photo: Courtesy of the WSA

And that’s just the thing about competitive surfing; sometimes, you score dream waves with nobody out, and sometimes, it takes everything you’ve got not to get blown off the beach. No matter what, you’re always at the mercy of the ocean and elements—and that’s what makes surf contests so special.

It’s not always about who tops the podium and scores the big trophy. Sometimes, just surviving the elements together is enough.

Friendships are forged. Memories are made. Lifelong bonds are created. And that’s exactly what went down in Oceanside last weekend.

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